“We need never be ashamed of our tears.” ~Charles Dickens
We have all cried, all of us, some more than others.
But today I am not here to divide us by the liters of tears we have shed.
Today I want to unite us because we are all the same.
We all feel sad, stressed, overwhelmed, scared, and frustrated at times.
Any stay-at-home parent would understand my frustration, my misery, and my overwhelmed days.
It has eaten me up on the inside. I have been staying at home for the past seven years, looking after my kids, with no face-to-face interaction with adults like you and me.
All I do is get three boys fed and cleaned (god knows, sometimes I skip the cleaning part). All I do is break up fights. All I do is clear the never-ending mess in the living room. All I do is everything for them, but nothing for me.
Some days I ask myself why I have decided to stay at home.
Some days I ask myself why I have been given such a difficult task.
Some days I feel that I’m not cut out to be a mother.
Those are the days when I sit and curl up my knees, with my face in my hands, shoulders heaving, and my two-year-old by my side, wondering what’s wrong with Mama.
And after the tears have run dry, I know I just have to get up and fight again.
For I know that if I can’t handle it one more time, I have tears waiting to release me. And that’s okay.
Today I want to let you know that it is not shameful to be in tears. That you are not a failure just because you couldn’t handle the situation. That you had been doing so well, too well, that is why you’re now breaking.
My dear friend, I just want to let you know that it is okay to cry. Just let it all out, my dear.
I do it all the time.
It’s the only place I can go to, shedding those tears.
It’s the only release I have, shedding those tears.
It’s the only thing I could do, shedding those tears.
My message today is that we shouldn’t be afraid to feel our feelings. More importantly, it’s only by feeling our feelings that we’re able to recognize the message they’re sending us and then make positive changes in our lives.
For me, I discovered that I needed to pay more attention to my own needs, that I needed to find time to pursue my passion, that I needed to find time to mingle with my friends, that I’m not expected to be only a mother.
I’ve learned that being a good mother doesn’t mean that I have to be around 24/7. Instead, a good mother is one that remembers to take time off for herself. No one is capable of being there for others (even if they are the people you love) without having some time for rejuvenation.
I’ve learned that the hard way. Neglecting oneself can really make a person lose all sense of purpose, and when that happens, depression comes knocking on your door.
I’ve learned that being a smart mother doesn’t mean you try to make it on your own. Being a smart mother means I ask for the help I need. Since I am currently residing in a country that is not my own, and neither my husband nor I have immediate family here, that’s meant hiring a babysitter.
Other than that, we are also enrolling our littlest one into a half-day childcare program in a few days’ time. I can’t wait for the few hours of freedom every day! All of my three children will be in school, and I am determined to use this time to pursue my passion.
It was only by feeling my feelings that I was able to recognize my needs and make these positive changes.
Cry if you’re hurting, and realize you don’t have to accept your unfulfilling situation.
The changes you need to make in your life don’t have to be on a grand scale. Simple changes to your routine may have a much larger impact on your happiness than you can imagine.
You just have to listen carefully to what you want and need. You have to listen carefully to what’s holding you back. When you can identify these two things, you can make a positive change in your life. I know you can do it!
Today I want to tell somebody, anybody, that if you see someone crying, please reach out to them.
If you see someone crying, please don’t judge.
If you see someone crying, being there could mean the world to them.
If you’re a man, it is okay to cry too, because only strong people dare to show their feelings.
You see, tears can come from all sorts of feelings.
Tears come from stress. Tears come from sorrow. But they make your pain lessen, make you look to tomorrow
Tears come from pain. Tears come from frustration. But you can get up again. You always have and you always will.
It’s okay to cry. It’s okay for share your tears with others. And it’s okay to do whatever it is you need to do for you.